California Scales Back Water Delivery Project

The state will now construct one delta tunnel instead of two

California to construct one new delta tunnel for water delivery instead of two

California state officials announced on February 7, 2018, that they will be scaling back a planned water delivery project. Originally, the project sought to build two delta tunnels in the heart of California, but the project will now involve the construction of only one delta tunnel.

While the state will still move forward with the California WaterFix project, the smaller scale comes due to insufficient funds. The project is a multibillion dollar undertaking, and the involved districts have only contributed enough funding for one delta tunnel.

The delta would extend 35 miles under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and will likely send water south to San Joaquin agribusiness and Southern California cities. The original two-tunnel effort would have cost around $17 billion and the new single-tunnel project will cost nearly $10.7 billion if investors still consider the new plan lucrative enough for their respective areas.

The project still has several hoops to jump through before construction can begin. Aside from solidifying funding, The Department of Water Resources must also complete a supplemental environmental review of the modified plans, which will likely last until October. The project is also still within the permit process.

This news comes in the midst of several other water issues for the state of California.

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